South Korea’s baseball team has departed for Hangzhou, China, to compete in its fourth consecutive Asian Games.
The team, led by head coach Ryu Jung-il, departed the country on Aug. 28 through Incheon International Airport.
The team announced its final roster earlier in June. The team had to replace some injured players such as Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), Koo Chang-mo (NC), and Lee Yi-ri (KIA) ahead of this month’s call-up. Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung), Kim Young-gyu (NC), and Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte) were selected in their place.
The team convened for the first time on Nov. 23 and has been working on their own training and practice matches at the Gocheok SkyDome in Seoul. The team won a 2-0 scrimmage against Sangmu on April 26. The game also featured pitchers from both teams on the mound to get a feel for each other.
South Korea is seeking its fourth consecutive gold medal at the Asian Games. They previously won gold at Guangzhou 2010, Incheon 2014, and Jakarta-Palembang 2018. Ryu Jung-il, who was the head coach at Incheon 2014, will once again take the helm of the team at the Asian Games.
Drawn in Group B, South Korea will face Hong Kong on October 1, followed by Chinese Taipei on October 2.
The opponent for the final group game, scheduled for Oct. 3, has yet to be determined. The team that finishes first in the three-team preliminary round, which includes Thailand, Laos, and Singapore, will be placed in Group B. As of now, Thailand is likely to be South Korea’s final opponent.
If you finish in the top two in your group, you advance to the Super Round with the top two teams from Group A. In the Super Round, you’ll start with a head-to-head record against the country you were paired with in the group stage, and you’ll play the countries in Group A.
Group A includes China, Japan, and the Philippines, so it’s likely that Japan and China will advance.
In the Super Rounds, the first and second place teams will play for the gold medal, while the third and fourth place teams will play for the bronze. The 토토 gold medal game, which will decide whether or not the team will win a fourth straight title, will be held on October 7.
For the first time, South Korea will send its own age-restricted team to the Asian Games. Players must be 25 years old or in their fourth year of eligibility, with three wild cards for players under 30.
Japan, which is known for its unemployment baseball, and Chinese Taipei, which has fielded a number of American minor leaguers in addition to players in its own professional league, are among the teams Korea will have to watch out for in its quest for a fourth straight title.